29 Jun How can joining the Sea Cadets benefit youths?
By Nathan Barbara, VSM Intern
Youths often exhibit some sort of rebellious behaviour whilst growing up. Amongst other aims, schools and other organisations strive to teach students discipline. The Sea Cadets, Scouts and other associations attempt to form individuals, educating them to be disciplined and organised. The experience acquired through participation in the activities of these organisations can also help develop resilience.
I joined the Malta Sea Cadet Corps as a Junior Cadet at the age of 10 and spent eight years with them. The Sea Cadets are a non-governmental organisation sponsored by the British Ministry of Defence that provides young people aged 10-18 years with leadership, life skills, adventure and team building experiences. It is a voluntary uniformed youth organisation with a specific interest in waterborne activities based on Royal Navy Traditions.
Throughout my experience, I did not only achieve qualifications and proficiencies in the wide range of subjects, but I also developed greater confidence in myself and better communication with others. The fact that these organisations conduct military-like activities and drill on a day-to-day basis helps develop a routine, which proves extremely useful in everyday life. There is an emphasis on the uniform, on being neat and orderly, as well as on fitting in and conforming. Furthermore, an individual learns to iron, wash, cook and clean.
The Sea Cadets also take part in various community activities which encourage individuals to build self-confidence and enhance their interpersonal skills. As a Cadet you are expected to obey orders and directions given by superiors, remember good manners, lend a hand to those that may be struggling with certain tasks, be alert and conscious about others at all times, treat them with respect, and complete the tasks that you are entrusted with. All of this helps develop one’s character, as well as aids those who struggle to fit in becoming more responsible and independent. All youths, including youths coming from a difficult background, can benefit immensely from these skills. On top of this, they can feel part of a community, where they build and foster meaningful relationships.
One of the goals of the organisation is to educate Cadets to be law-abiding citizens. Due to exposure to military-style discipline many Cadets choose to pursue a military career or a career in law-enforcement. In other words, joining the Sea Cadets can be a way for a youth who is struggling to fit in to make friends, acquire relevant skills and refrain from anti-social behaviour.
Project WO is funded by the Social Impact Awards
About the author: Nathan Barbara is a Criminology student at the University of Malta. He volunteered with the Malta Sea Cadets with 8 years
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of Victim Support Malta.